Economic bloggers take Treasury field trip

Nov. 16, 2009 at 2:34 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Financial bloggers said an invitation to meet U.S. Treasury officials took the inkless writers by surprise and had some influence.

"The mere invitation made me more favorably disposed to policy makers," said blogger Steve Randy Waldman in his blog Interfluidity.

Not to be too seduced by the kindness of those he writes about, Waldman said "on principal" he refused the free cookies, The New York Times reported Monday.

Michael Panzer, author of the Financial Armageddon said the Treasury's invitation arrived "totally out of the blue," although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been known to pay attention to bloggers in the past.

"I think we were much better informed than the groups they're used to talking to," said Tyler Cowen who has writing posted at the Marginal Revolution and is an economics professor at George Mason University.

John Jansen, who writes for a blog called Across the Curve, said he felt compelled after the meeting to stop referring to Treasury officials as "Timothy Geithner and his minions."

The Treasury invited 20 bloggers to the meeting at their own expense. Eight attended the meeting, the Times said.

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